In this (slightly late) edition of our bi-weekly developer interview, our community team took the opportunity to sit down with 3D modeller for Galaxy in Turmoil- Leo Haslam.
(Pictured Above : Leo)
So tell me who in the seven hells are you?
My name is Leo Haslam and I am a creature and character artist. I’m currently working as a freelancer and the stuff I do ranges from creature and character concepts to 3d printed figures and collectables. I work primarily in Zbrush which is a 3d sculpting application that is great for producing both 3d models and concept art. Recently I’ve started to try to move towards 3d modelling for game characters and I’m really enjoying it so far.
Would you like to tell me a bit about what zbrush is and how it works?
Sure. It’s a digital sculpting software made by Pixologic. It’s basically a ball of digital clay that you can sculpt away at with a wacom tablet by sketching on the surface. There are loads of tools that you can use to sculpt and shape the clay and it’s constantly being added to with free updates. It was the first 3d software that I learned and I use it everyday either for work or just for fun. It’s a real pleasure to use and the stuff that people create with it and post in the online forums is amazing. Definitely my weapon of choice.
Would you be able to show us some of your creations?
I have an Artstation page with some of my previous works that you can check out if you want.
(Experimental Biosynthetic Organism – Credit : Leo)
Now tell me, what sort of aesthetic are you going for with your work on Galaxy in Turmoil?
I started working on Galaxy in Turmoil very recently and at the moment I’m taking in all of the amazing work that the concept artists are doing. It’s kind of a cyberpunk sci-fi fantasy which has it’s own unique sense of style. If I had to compare the character aesthetic to an already existing franchise I’d say it’s something akin to Dishonoured but it definitely has it’s own feel to it. The concept art on this game is really awesome and I really hope to do it justice through my work.
So, why did you join the Frontwire studios team?
Well recently I’ve been wanting more and more to get into computer games. It’s what I wanted to do when I started playing around with Zbrush in 2008. I started freelancing about a year ago and so far I’ve tended to do more work with 3d printing and collectables than I have with games. So just as I started looking around for work with games studios the guys at Frontwire got in touch with me about the possibility of working on Galaxy in Turmoil. It was meant to be.
You mentioned you work with character models in particular, have you ever tried experimenting with other things such as vehicles?
I love mechs. It’s something I really want to get better at doing. I see work by artists such as Vitally Bulgarov and Aaron Beck and I feel hugely Inspired to do more Hardsurface stuff.
(Combat Droid – Credit : Leo)
Because Galaxy in Turmoil is a new IP, people are assuming that there are no restrictions on creative freedom. Would you agree with this statement or argue that everything needs to fit in with a preconceived vision for the game?
Well there is definitely creative freedom but as with anything it needs direction at some point. It’s still early days for me working on Galaxy in Turmoil so it’s hard to say but from what I’ve seen so far It definitely feels like a convincing universe.
How did you get into 3D modeling? Did you start it as a hobby or…?
Since I was a kid I’ve always loved art. I used to make monsters out of plasticine and make my own comics and stuff. I went to art school for a couple of months and really didn’t like it. After that I kind of stopped doing art for a long time… like 7 years or so. Sometime around 2008 I came across a video on youtube of someone sculpting in Zbrush and I eventually got a demo copy to try out. I was hooked immediately and my love of art was reignited. Since then I’ve spent the last 8 years teaching myself all kinds of digital art software. The internet is an invaluable learning resource. There are so many free tutorials on youtube it’s mind blowing. So It’s been a passionate hobby of mine that if feel very lucky to have grown into a career.
2008 was 8 years ago….. I find this disturbing.
Tell me about it!
Tell me about who and what you take inspiration from?
I find inspiration in lots of places. Artists like HR Giger and Francis Bacon were a big one when I was a kid. Also the work of Stan Winston studios. But it’s not just another artist. Music is a big one. Aphex Twin, Nine inch Nails, dark DnB. I basically like anything that sounds heavy.
(Kaiju – Credit : Leo)
On a similar note, what works do you look to as examples of mistakes to avoid repeating at all costs?
To be honest that’s not something I’ve really thought about before. Probably Jar Jar Binks.
Tell us a bit about what you’ve done for Galaxy in Turmoil since you joined Frontwire Studios.
So far I’ve had the honor of working on one of GIT’s lead characters, Roka. I’ve only just started out working on the character and the concepts that I’m working from are gorgeous. I see Roka as a beautiful female character with a graceful strength about her. It’s actually really refreshing to be sculpting something very beautiful as I’m normally creating gory f*cked up monsters. Roka looks like a beautiful bad ass cyberpunk space elf. At the moment I’m still working on the hi res sculpt and refining the look. I really want to make sure I’ve captured the essence of Roka from her concept art and help bring her soul into the game.
(Joker – Credit : Leo)
To round off we’ll have a few more casual questions, tell me Leo what is your favourite food?
What is the lewdest thing you’ve ever done with a toothbrush?
To finish off tell us a funny story of yours.
It’s when someone asks you a question like that you realize you can’t think of anything funny. Well I did recently send a drunk text to my boss that was meant for my girlfriend. It wasn’t anything saucy but the text did call him “babe” and and ended with “love you xx”.